Entourage Aquaman 700

Chapter 3: Aquaman

As you can imagine, things got incredibly busy and exciting for Chase after filming a James Cameron movie. To mark the occasion, Chase and all of his friends specially flew their mothers to Los Angeles for the premiere.

Though we all know Aquaman became a massive hit, at the time, no one was sure. On opening day, there were rolling blackouts all over the west coast, and several theaters had to cancel screenings of the film. (Chase spent the day sneaking into theaters in the Valley). Even with that set back, Chase and Cameron tackled the then all-time box office champion, Spider-Man, with an opening weekend gross of $116 million. They even started development on Aquaman the ride.

So how do you follow up a monster? Gold presented Chase with scripts from Darren Aronofsky, David O’Russell, then threw them in the garbage. He was ready to get Chase’s dream project, Medellin. Paul Haggis was now attached and loved Chase in the lead role. However, there was one problem – Aquaman 2.

Chase had signed on for multiple Aquaman sequels but since there wasn’t yet a script for Aquaman 2, he was sure he could make Medellin beforehand. However, Warner Bros. wanted to rush it out. Gone was James Cameron and Andrew Kevin Walker, in were Michael Bay and Kevin Smith. The head of Warner Bros. Alan Gray, say they’d give Chase 65 days to go off and make his passion project, but Haggis insisted he needed 90. He, along with Chase and Murphy, figured out a way to shoot the movie in two parts but it turned out Warner Bros. was bluffing. Gray didn’t want their big, franchise star in a movie doing lines of cocaine on screen and were never going to let Chase do Medellin.

Infuriated, Chase told the studio he wanted $20 million to make Aquaman 2 or he was out. They countered with $12.5 million and, because of his contract, Chase very reluctantly agreed. However, he said he’d take his original salary so as not to be indebted to Gray. That lack of respect peaked when Chase missed a peace keeping meeting with the executive on purpose and he fired Chase from the franchise. Jake Gyllenhaal ended up starring in Aquaman 2. Meanwhile, while all this was happening, Haggis askedBenicio del Toro to play Pablo Escobar in Medellin. Chase, who at one point had two big movies, now had none.

Dark times for Chase would get darker. Queens Boulevard was finally being readied for release and, because of strong test scores, the studio decided to release it wide. There was one problem: audiences didn’t like Billy Walsh’s choice to film the movie in black and white. They added color to the film and, at a press conference with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Walsh and Chase decide to submarine it. Queens Boulevard never got a theatrical release and, years later, got a release on DVD.

At this point, Chase’s brashness, stubbornness and instincts had screwed him out of Medellin, Aquaman 2 and the release of Queens Boulevard. It was then that, as sometimes fate would have it, Eric Murphy was introduced to Oscar-winning, legendary producer Bob Ryan. At Ryan’s house, Murphy stumbled upon a script called I Wanna Be Sedated. It was the story of The Ramones, a commercial, New York set story that Murphy and Chase instantly fell in love with. Gold set up meetings all over town for Ryan and Chase to pitch the film together but Gold’s unprofessional attitude to Ryan lead the producer to spitefully sell the script to the one studio Chase couldn’t work with, Warner Bros. Turns out, Alan Gray was still mad about Aquaman 2 and bought the script just so Chase couldn’t have it. Angered at Gold’s major misstep, Murphy and Chase decided to fire Gold as Chase’s agent.

Entourage Jeremy Piven

Chapter 3 Part 2: A New Agent

Vincent Chase then hired only his second agent ever, Amanda Daniels. Her first order of business was to give Chase a script for an Edith Wharton period film written by Steven Zallian and directed by Sam Mendes. It was a major, major movie but Chase and Murphy didn’t understand it. What they do get is a gift from their former agent, Ari Gold. It’s the script to Medellin. Last they heard, Paul Haggis was going to direct with Benicio del Toro in the lead but Gold told them things had changed. Daniels believed Gold was wrong and the movie was still happening with those two. On top of that, she was extremely upset Chase and Murphy were still listening to Gold in any capacity. The rocky road began.

As Gold predicted, del Toro walked off the project leaving the lead role open for Haggis. They needed Chase on set A.S.A.P. which sent Daniels, the producers and executives into a rage. Unfortunately for Chase, a late minute timing issue made everyone miss their deadlines and, once again, Medellin was dead.

Still unsure of how the deadline was blown, Chase and Murphy blamed Daniels for the delay and decided to go behind her back to Gold. They wanted to salvage Medellin. The producer agreed on one condition: that Chase does another movie him. That movie was Matterhorn, the film Chase turned down years earlier which subsequently got cancelled when Colin Farrell got injured on set. Always willing to take a chance, Chase decided he wouldn’t do that and instead mortgaged his house to buy the script to Medellin for himself. It was something he believed that strongly in.

Chase bought the script for several millions dollars and sought out the help of long time friend Billy Walsh. Walsh loved it, got incredibly passionate about it, and agent, manager, star and director began raising the money. Lots of negotiating eventually lead to a $30 million budget for the film, and the boys from Queens had their next project.

Continue Reading A History of Entourage: The Movies of Vincent Chase

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